A Timeless Memory in a Temporal Decade

Christmas through the Decade- News Graphic

It’s amazing to think about how fast a decade goes by and how many things change. Ten Christmases ago looks totally different than what our Christmases look like now. We started this last decade really just starting out as a family. It was back before our kids outnumbered us- an even playing field with just two children. It was great! At those early ages, to save money, you could gift them with a wooden spoon from the kitchen drawer for Christmas and they would be happy. (I may or may not have done this- I plead the 5th)

Our Christmases were simple with our little family. Crystal and myself had been doing the same thing since we had gotten married- one Christmas in California with her parents, the next in Wilmington with my parents & grandparents. I have this wonderful memory of Christmas morning with my oldest son Will at age 2 sitting at the piano with my Mema playing Christmas Carols while my granddaddy adorned in my Mema’s bathrobe watched and sang at the top of his lungs. Why he was in her bathrobe? Who knows?!





I think about other Christmas memories early in the decade of being at my Papa’s house on Christmas Eve. We would always have a party with all of his extended family- a party nothing like a traditional Christmas Eve party. There would be pranks between my Papa and his sisters, a disheveled and half-dressed Santa Claus (that was clearly my Papa) appearing for a quick hello, and ending the night with BIG and LOUD fireworks shooting in the sky. There were no “silent nights” at Papa’s; just Christmas shenanigans that you can only get away with in the country suburbs of Wilmington.

Looking back, I never really thought much about future Christmases. In some way I naively thought that things would just stay the same. Over the last decade, our Christmases have changed substantially with the loss of both of these grandparents that meant the world to me. I remember the first Christmas without them as we came back into Wilmington. As we crossed over the big bridge into the city, I just held Crystal’s hand and wept knowing that Christmas was changing. My children would remember little or nothing about what my Christmases used to be like.

Yet in spite of the sadness of potential Christmas memories lost, sprang something new and hopeful. I would get the privilege to start new memories with my children. A decade has passed, and we sadly do not go to Wilmington anymore like I did for 30 years of my life. Yet, our little Glisson family has learned to appreciate Christmases spent at home in Shelby. To sit in the living room of our house at the piano that my Mema and son once sat at, and open presents, laugh, and tell the greatest story of Christmas- a story that despite the ongoing decades of change, still remains true and timeless. Although some of our Christmas memories and traditions have changed, the message and the heart of Christmas has remained the same.

I am reminded of Moses’ encouragement to the people of Israel…
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” -Deuteronomy 4:9

Moses is reminding the people not to forget what they have seen God do through His faithfulness, and to teach and share these memories to the generations to follow. We have the privilege to give our children a joyful, hope-filled memory that outlasts all other temporal memories- God dwelling among us and the rescue & redemption of His people by coming in the form of a child. This memory will live far beyond my grandparents, parents, and even me. The one thing that I hope never changes about our family’s Christmases is that the story of Christ’s love will continue to be in the homes of my children’s children to a thousand generations. Is this the same memory you hope they remember in your home? Let’s live decades of Christmases remembering and reminding our families of the greatest memory of 2000 years ago.

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